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it does, the senate majority leader harry reid is expected to weigh in, in just about ten minutes on the looming fiscal cliff. reid and his fellow senators are under intense scrutiny after john boehner said the democratic controlled senate must act first on proposals already passed by his chamber. we will bring you reid's remarks as they happen. >>> as the clock ticks down toward the fiscal cliff, washington has a new worry the debt ceiling, treasury secretary tim geithner says the united states will hit its legal borrowing limit on monday. alison kosik is in new york. i feel like it's groundhog day. >> i know it really is. what's old is new again, right, carol? let me kind of back up the bus here. we start talking about the debt ceiling and i know people's eyes glaze over. let me tell you exactly what the debt ceiling is. it's a cap set by congress of the amount of money the federal government can borrow. right now the ceiling is at $16.394 trillion and treasury secretary tim geithner said earlier this week we could hit that debt ceiling on monday, on new year's eve and the treas
of six attending. vice president biden, harry reid, house minority leader nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house sp
to see you. within the past hour, senate majority leader harry reid spoke on the floor. he really gave it to john boehner. he got pretty personal. >> he did. he really laid the blame at boehner's lap. talked about the fact that he was surprised that the house isn't even in session, which is true, but let's get real. the senate came back into session this morning. most importantly, he was very, very pessimistic about getting anything done before we reach that fiscal cliff. listen to what he said. >> the speaker just has a few d days left to change his mind, but i have to be very honest, mr. president. i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> let me kind of lay out the state of play. i'll try to keep it out as much as possible. this is something everybody is focused on. the ball is in the senate's court right now. so what senator reid, who you saw earlier, and the president, what they are trying to figure out is whether or not they can craft what the president called a scaled-back bill, which is what he campaigned on. raising taxes for everybody making more than $250,000 a year a
probably say where our senate majority leader harry reid and senator mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, because now all eyes turn to the senate. they're set to come back to town on the 27th. that is thursday. and at this point there are a number of options for some sort of bill that senate majority leader harry reid could put on the floor, but right now it appears democrats in the white house are pushing for something that still concentrates on making sure that income tax rates for those making a quarter million dollars or less don't go up. that said, it's really hard to see how at that rate senator mcconnell might allow some republican senators to support it or that some republican senators would even want to jump on board with that and even harder to see how a bill like that is something that house speaker john boehner would allow to the floor -- allow to the house floor for a vote. so things are very uncertainty point and you're hearing a lot of pessimism as we just heard from democrats and republicans about what will happen with the fiscal cliff and whether we'll go o
? basically the ball is in the senate's court? >> all you have to do is look at what harry reid, the leader of the senate has been saying from day one. every time that speaker boehner put forth a common-sense plan to fix this problem, harry reid would say, right off the bat it is doa, dead on arrival. not one thing that speaker boehner proposed that reid said, oh, we can work with that. it's about scoring political points. the american people are tired of all of us, i understand that. we just make used car salesmen look good. that's the only group is below us. but we've got to get our act together, and prove to the american people that we can regain the trust that they once had in us and get the job done. and as you say, not kick the can down the road. they want to us work this out. i hope we do. >> let's talk about something a little more bright. the former marine stuck in mexico. if you don't know the story, he was basically trying to go on a surfing trip. an old winnebago and a bunch of surf boards and some sort of antique, torn apart gun that he wanted to use to hunt rabbits and birds.
and schedule a vote. so the pressure is on for senator majority leader harry reid, and mitch mcconnell, be sure no republicans block the bill. for house speaker john boehner to agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor and leader nancy pelosi to predict a huge number of democrats needed to pass it. but if that plan falling through -- >> then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. >> reporter: the president's basic package has much more for democrats to like. so don't expect that to get very far, but all sides now agree the senate must first pass a bill before the house makes any kind of move. so all eyes will be on mitch mcconnell and harry reid and their negotiatorsoled up on capitol hill. the senate comes back into session at 1:00 on sunday. christi, alison? >>> and the cliffhanger continues. jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and january 1st is the deadline to make a deal on the fiscal cliff. for some states, it's a day that a series of new laws are going to take effect. let me get you clued in here. in california, talking more than 800 new laws,
're shifting negotiation tactics now to a group of two. two senators, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the two party leaders in the senate, are going to be trying to find a way to get a deal today. we know their staff is talking. we don't expect actually any necessary meetings between those two leaders right away today. we think that their chiefs of staff are going to be on the phone, via e-mail. this reported from our producer, ted barrett. perhaps tonight they'll see if the leaders can sit down and get together something to present to their various caucuses. now as i said, it was silent until yesterday. then we heard many people speaking. again, we heard from president obama this morning talking about how important it is to try and get a deal done this week. >> you meet your deadlines, your responsibilities every single day. the folks you sent here to serve should do the same. we cannot let washington politics get in the way of america's progress. we've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward. >> that was the president's weekly add
. the president, vice president biden, senate majority leader harry reid and house minority leader nancy pelosi on the democratic side. house speaker john boehner, mitch mcconnell representing the republicans. brianna keilar live from washington. what do we expect to happen today? any new offers from the president or house speaker? >> we don't know. right now, all eyes on the senate to see what senate majority leader harry reid can cobble together to get some republican support. technically, it's still possible to come to an agreement. that said, politically is a different story, and the prospects for coming to a deal are starting to dim. right now, we're hearing a whole lot of the blame game. a lot of public posturing from both sides as they prepare for the possibility of going over the cliff. let's listen to harry reid. >> we are here in washington working while members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, the speaker of the house, john boehner, sort of retorting t
will be on mitch mcconnell and harry reid and their negotiators holed up on capitol hill. the senate comes back into session at 1:00 on sunday. >> jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and with the pressure now squarely on the senate to fix the fiscal cliff, they will lead the talks this weekend. a period of time reid calls, quote, very important, mcconnell says he's hopeful both sides will have a plan to present to their respective members as early as tomorrow. and other republican and democratic senators are underscoring the importance of reaching an agreement soon. >> if we don't have a deal within the next 24 hours, the question is, where do you buy a parachute? looks like we'll be going over the cliff. the closer we get to the end, the less likely it is you're going to be able to compress an agreement in to place that will have enough votes to pass. >> when the dust settles and everything's said and done, federal individual income taxes are not going to go up on almost all americans next year. that will either be settled this weekend by our votes or settled after the first of the year. that's the mo
-term economic problems. after a moment of spiritual clarity on friday afternoon, harry reid is working on a bipartisan deal ostensibly with his republican adversary mitch mcconnell. >> -- engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> well, if the senate manages to reach a compromise, the hope is that the house would follow. that's option one. the green one. option two is less certain. president obama reportedly challenged congressional leaders from both parties on friday to come up with a deal better than the one he proposed. the center piece of which is that the top marginal tax rate will increase for those earning $250,000 or more from 35% to 39.6%. that's only on the amount earned above that threshold. obama has told congress either they come up with something better or put his proposal to a vote. he's betting even those who hate the idea of a tax increase on the rich will hate causing
and they are scattered throughout the country and taxes are going up on january 1st. let's listen to harry reid. he is not happy about the house and being away. he is the top senate democrat. >> we are here in washington working. we have the house of representatives out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> here's a reality. reid said it's beginning to look to him as though we will plunge over the cliff come tuesday. they are keeping an eye on washington to see what develops. since it looks as though we are headed for higher taxes, i want to bring in terry savage, a personal finance expert for the chicago sun times. terry, let's walk through the higher taxes. we heard little class families are likely to lose $2,000 a year. you break it down this way for single earners making $85,000 a year if their take home pay is $2500 every two weeks. when the higher taxes kick in, they will see their pay go down $120. that's not a little. we are taking a major hit. >> this is big money. almost $400 a month. when you add up a cou
, was senator mitch mcconnell and here we have the majority leader in the senate, harry reid. let's listen in for a second. >> the house has reported by the press and we all know, one of the plans didn't have a name, it wasn't plan b. i don't know which plan it was because they've had a number over there. but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it wouldn't pass. republicans -- a myriad of republicans think it's the fair thing to do and of course every democrat would vote for that. the republican leader finds himself frustrated that the president has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that wo
these prevent it, in control of whether or not your taxes go up come new year's day. harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell, house speaker john boehner and house democratic leader nancy pelosi met at the white house yesterday afternoon with the president and vice president. here's where things stand right now. the senate leaders are meeting aiming to avoid tax hikes. and they may vote on a deal sunday or perhaps on monday. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. lisa day jar dayne is on capitol hill. the president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. so let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. >> so jessica, you were
and harry reid. republicans mitch mcconnell and john boehner. those four members of congress are expected to make the drive from the capital, which you see on the right, down pennsylvania avenue, to the white house, there on the left. and we expect them to enter through a side door on the west side of the mansion. that's the entrance right there. and they'll meet with the president. in the oval office. beginning, we're told, at 3:00 p.m., less than one hour from now. and just four days ahead of the so-called fiscal cliff. so a very big moment in the nation's capital. and to walk us through what might happen we turn to jessica yellin, a chief white house correspondent. jessica, we said up front, it is a long shot, give us a best case scenario. >> reporter: the best case scenario would be that all the leaders walk out of this meeting and say they have a deal. the two senators say they can bring it to a vote, and none of their members will filibuster it. house speaker john boehner says he will bring it to the house floor for a vote before new year's eve and house minority leader nancy pelosi
from its christmas vacation to work on a deal today. sources tell us majority leader harry reid will be pushing a scaled back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out last week. it moved the tax hike needle to $400,000 per household. no word yet on when the house might come back with time ticking away. democrats are hoping that a scaled back plan could get through the house, senate and white house before that big ball drops on 2013. that would be sometime on december 30th or even on new years eve. we want to bring in jonathan allen. he's a senior national correspondent for politico. the top headline on politico is fiscal cliff deal increasingly unlikely. i think a lot of people are feeling that pessimism right now. what are you hearing? >> well, i think what you've got here, alena, is a nash equilibrium to borrow from economic theory and game theory. each of the players believe they are pursuing their optimal strategies given the strategies of the other players and there's no reason to change it. i think as observers of this, the american public, you can
today between the president and the leaders, two republicans and two democrats. harry reid said the next 24 hours would be very important as he and mitch mcconnell put together something that would pass both of their caucuses. and then of course it would have to go to the house. the majority leader harry reid said he's readying a bill for a vote on monday to prevent a tax hike on incomes up to $250,000. senator reid said his bill will include unemployment benefits, a continuation of those. that would be sort of the plan b for democrats simply because what they would rather do is get a bill with senator reid working in conjunction with senator mcconnell. senator reid said he's awaiting good faith proposals from the republicans. president obama said after the meeting that he is modestly optimistic a deal can be reached, but as you can hear from senator reid, the president asked that if a deal between republicans and democrats cannot be reached, then the president wants just an up or down vote on what he wants, which is quite simply no income tax rates going up for people making $250,000 an
the cliff. that's where senate majority leader harry reid says we're headed. can washington save us with just five days to go? >>> plus, a proposal to give guns to school principals is gaining support. we're "outfront" with an arizona sheriff who's backing that plan. >>> and the 2012 election was all about viral videos, tonight we're counting down our favorite political video of the year. let's go "outfront." >>> i'm john avalon in for erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, a stark warning from capitol hill. senate majority leader harry reid says we're all headed for fiscal disaster. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left before the first of the year, aren't here. >> we're now told the house will finally return to work on sunday. now, that's december 30th. in other words, less than 48 hours before we go over the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, president obama cut his hawaii vacation short to return to washington today. but has he been working on a deal? "outfront" tonight, reports fro
. senate majority leader harry reid has said if they don't reach something by monday he'll bring forward a bill to help out the middle class for an up-and-down vote. >> right. >> put everybody on the record, but especially republicans. isn't that the tactic? >> exactly right. the step before that is harry reid is working on some bill that might get bipartisan support in the senate. president obama in that meeting apparently told them try and work something out. and reid left and made a statement last night, as did mcconnell, that they're going to try and work something out. the best-case scenario is that sometime tomorrow they are able to put it to the senate and then it quos to the house, and then there's a real bill that sounds like a compromise. it's not the grand bargain we were all looking for. it will be some kind of deal to stop going over the cliff. option two is what we're talking about here, that those two can't get a deal and they put something forward and everybody in the senate and subsequently hopefully in the house gets to say yea or no to it. you're on the record. if you
's plan, and will republican leaders let that happen? >> well, okay. so senate majority leader harry reid, a democrat, has crafted an alternative proposal that he has -- saying he will put -- if the negotiations i just described fail and if the senators cannot come to a bipartisan agreement, then the democratic leader is going to put on the floor a democratic proposal that would extend tax rates for households that make $250,000 and less. hatch the alternative minimum tax and extend unemployment insurance. so that's a democratic proposal. the problem with that is, you can expect a republican is likely to filibuster it or block it in some way so it's not likely to go anywhere. and it's not likely to be put on the house floor for a vote by republicans in the house or democrats in the house. so you can assume it's a nonstarter. it's more of the political proposal than a real proposal. bottom line. there's one good thing in washington. or two. you're there. and if we can get a shot of the capitol back, at least there's a nice dusk happening it's beautiful. let's hope that helps the mood there
on a deal. now, sources tell us majority leader harry reid will push a scaled-back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out on friday, which moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word yet on when the house of representatives might come back, but democrats say the only hope we have of something getting through the house, the senate and the white house may be a very last-minute deal. cnn radio's lisa is following developments on capitol hill right now. the ball is in senate majority leader harry reid's court it would seem right now, lisa. >> that's right. harry reid and the senate seem to be the only game in town right now with the senate returning today. we also know from sources, ali, that over this christmas break there were no conversations between the president and top-level republicans. sources from both parties are telling us they are watching the senate, especially the democratic leadership in the senate. we also know yesterday house republicans came out with a statement saying that he will act only after the u.s. senate acts. we're not sure what the se
john boehner. he met in person with harry reid, although what the private happened, we don't know. but publicly things sound a lot like they have for the past few weeks. take a listen. >> every member of congress believes that, every democrat, every republican. so there is absolutely no rea n reason, none, not to protect these americans from a tax hike. at the very least, let's agree right now what we already agree on. let's get that done. >> what the president has offered so far simply won't do anything to solve our spending problem and begin to address our nation's crippling debt. instead, he wants more spending, more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. >> bottom line, right now we're hearing a lot less talk about some sort of a grand bargain. and instead, maybe some stopgap measures to give some certainty to americans before that end of the year deadline. randi? >> and is it just the taxes that's holding out the agreement or something more at this point? >> it's hard to know exactly. it seems like the biggest sticking point that we are hearing discussed publicly remains thos
possible we've learned from sources as senate majority leader harry reid works to get republican support in the senate, which he will need if he's going to pass a bill. and so we're still waiting to see exactly what it will look like that the white house wants for the threshold on income tax rates to cut off at $250,000. we will see if that ultimately is what senate majority leader reid rolls out. as of this point in time, we're expecting this to be a limited measure to deal just really with the fiscal cliff, which was supposed to be appear incentive to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country. not part of this, obviously looking at a big package. >> can you do this even if everything goes right? getting through the two houses. i don't think the house is anywhere near -- they couldn't get a million collars for the cap of the tax rates expiring. so what is the position of the white house aides and the people are you talking to there in terms much getting a deal done? >> well, the difference would be, and when you remember plan "b" failed. it failed to garner enough support amo
back to washington from hawaii here. senate minority leader harry reid has the task of trying to conjure up something that might be able to pass the house in addition to the senate publicly. the white house is saying they want tax rates to remain in effect for those making up to $250,000 per year, but it's unclear if that's something. very unclear, very unquestioned that house republicans could swallow that. we're hearing aing you significant possibility we go over the fiscal cliff. >> absolutely. both sides are saying that. you play thad sound bite from john baroso, saying it's politically expedestrianent for the president to go off the fiscal cliff. but both sides are saying, you know what? maybe it's better to go off the cliff. politically, members of congress will have to vet on tax cuts as opposed to now which are tax increases which are much harder to take. >> that's right. because the tax hikes will happen whether or not congress acts, so the school of thought here is that if republicans and temp kratz were to allow this just to happen, then they could vote for infect o
majority leader harry reid quickly moved the measure to a vote. minority leader mch mcconnell assured that no republicans block the bill. house speaker john boehner agreed to bring the bill to a vote on the house floor. and leader nancy pelosi with the number of votes needed to pass. >> what folks are looking for and all of us agree on this is action. they want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in washington. >> reporter: that was the last time this group met more than a month ago. with time running out to forge a scaled-down compromise, can they agree on even the most basic elements, extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers, fixing the alternative minimum tax. among the options to gain votes, averting an estate tax hike toll woo republicans. there's still time but no room for error. if congress doesn't act -- >> the impact psychologically and financially on americans of another plunge in the negative territory for the economy would be extremely harmful. >> reporter: and candy, as i said, those leaders are still meeti
leads are harry reid on mitch mcconnell to work out a deal on then present it to the house. he also laid out a scaled down mini deal if they are can't manage it. >> if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders in the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor, i asked senator reid to do this, put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don't go up, that unemployment is still available for 2 million people on that lays the groundwork for additional deficit reduction on economic growth steps that we can take in the new year but let's not miss this deadline. >> as for the two senate leaders, they spoke shortly after the meeting on sounded a bit more hopeful than the president. >> i think it was a very positive meeting. there was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting. everyone knows how important it is. it's a very serious meeting on it took an extended period of time, as you all know waiting for us. >> mr. president, i would just add -- i share the view of the majority leader, we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussion,
go up. but cnn is told that senate democratic leader harry reid is privately warning colleagues if he's not sure the president's scaled back bill will pass both houses of congress, he won't even bring it up for a vote. the concern sources say is that a failed vote and going off the fiscal cliff would spook the markets even more. sources in both parties say the most likely scenario at this point is going off the fiscal cliff. why? after january 1st, when everyone's taxes go up, the new congress sworn this on january 3rd could vote to cut taxes. a much easier vote to cast for republicans as well as some democrats. as for the president, is he nhe scheduled to leave his family tonight, come back to washington tomorrow morning, in the hopes of helping his fellow democrats try to find enough republicans to pass his plan. but of course this goes without saying that was a plan that most if not all republicans campaigned very strongly against. >> the most likely scenario is actually did go off the cliff now. ryan liza is our correspondent from washington. you look at this and we're hearing ech
pass that when we know harry reid will kill it in the senate or obama will veto it? why go out on a limb and abandon the idea republicans never allow a tax hike for something just going to be an attempt at a strategic thing, and the reason they thought it would fail is it would involve trying to blame obama if we went over the fiscal cliff and republicans don't think the media would accept that narrative. i don't know. you would know better than i would about how the media would react to that. that was a feeling on the republicans part they couldn't successfully pin obama with going over the cliff. >> i never speak for the media. i speak only for myself. i don't know. it is going to really depend, don't you think? matt, you have a column back in december that said john boehner cat herder and i was thinking the cats got the better of the speaker. what do you think that means for his future? does he remain as speaker? does someone else come in and take over because it is an indication he can't control his own group? >> well, it certainly wasn't a vote of confidence. i think, john
in the senate, and senator majority leader harry reid in hawaii for the funeral of daniel inouye and is now back to washington. it could come down to the senate doing something. senator mcconnell might allow this bill i mentioned that i already passed in july, was a threshold for tax hikes, being at the $250,000 level, he may allow democrats to say, the house has to take this, or if there is some sort of vote on another measure, while mitch mcconnell would be unlikely to support it, perhaps he might let some of his republican senators do that, now, this is sort of thinking, coming from democrats, this is not something that mitch mcconnell at this point is planning to do, and it's very much unclear. the fact is, it doesn't just matter what the senate does, don, the house would have to pass something. and whatever were to come out of the senate at this point would require not just republican support, they made that clear last week when they didn't support speaker boehner's plan b. it would come down to speaker boehner deciding whether or not he would allow some sort of measure to go to the floor.
leader senator harry reid has called on neil abercrombie to quickly appoint a successor before the end of the year. >>> ted kennedy jr., son of the late edward kennedy is considering a run for john kerry's senate seat, according to his brother former congressman patrick kennedy. "boston globe" reports that ted reached out to family members, friends and prominent democrats including john kerry about the possible run. he will likely faceoff against former senator scott brown who lost his seat to elizabeth warren in the november elections. those are your top stories. "reliable sources" at the top of the hour. now back to fareed zakaria "gps." >>> what would you dine a recession the fatd of a million jobs rested with you and just a few of us. nearly four years ago that was the question facing steve rattner a former fund on the newly formed auto task force. early 2009 the dow jones had recently had its largest single day point drop. 2.6 million jobs had been lost and banks and businesses were frequently failing. few companies were as battered as the big three automakers and in january of th
will reckoconvene thursday. harry reid has the task of trying to cobble something together that can get some republican support in the senate and also get some republican support in the house and make it through congress. that's a difficult task. the white house saying they want the threshold for income tax rates expiring to be $250,000 and above. they are back to their initial negotiating position. and so between that and the lack of discussions going on, you sort of understand why you're hearing from democrats and republicans this pessimism about going over the fiscal cliff. privately, that's all what we're hearing that it is a real possibility to go over the cliff, even though there's a possibility of still working out a deal. but this is a last-ditch effort for sure. >> it's incredible that privately they are also saying that. everyone thought once we get closer to the deadline, they are going to get it together, come up with some sort of deal. if this stopgap measure does actually pass before january 1st, is the president prepared to go back to d.c. and cut his vacation short? >> report
leader harry reid is here, eulogized senator inouye and senator daniel acaca. it is fascinating, president obama is at thor is is mony watching this happen, just a reminder of just how long serving representing hawaii daniel inouye did, he represented hawaii from 1959, from before president obama was even born. he has been a main stay here in hawaiian politics and? a very significant moment for this state. >> also amazing that this guy served in world war two while members of his family were interred back in the u.s. an absolute hero. brianna, thank you very much. >>> no matter how the fiscal cliff negotiations play out, the wealthy will probably see their taxes go up, but congress can't seem to agree on hot wealthy is or are. even if they figure that out, there's also disagreement about how their taxes should go up. cnn's lisa sylvester sat down with a megamillionaire who says he is ready to take a hit and you so should the rest of the 1%. >> reporter: the question who is considered rich? house speaker john boehner pushed for tax hikes for those making $1 million or more. presi
and vice president biden are sitting down with house leaders. the guest list includes harry reid, who this time yesterday said he didn't see any way the fiscal cliff could be avoided. whatever the case, our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin will be watching. what can we really expect to come out of this meeting this afternoon? >> well, alina, we're not sure what really will come out of it. the ideal scenario would be if all sides agree to a scaled-down version of the fiscal cliff agreement that the president and spe speaker boehner had been discussing weeks ago and then senator mcconnell would agree that no republicans would block it in any way if he can promise that. he argues that he can't really make that promise but if e he could then speaker boehner would promise to bring it to a vote on the floor. all sides would shake hands and we'd have a deal before new year's. that seems highly unlikely. but that's what all sides are pushing for today. >> i think we can all agree that tax rates are the biggest sticking point. so what specific issues are your sources saying that
to senate majority leader harry reid to try to cobble something together that can get some republican support in the senate and the house to avoid the fiscal cliff. we are one week away from it, as you mentioned, and republicans are not even part of the discussions, both in the senate and in the house, and at this point they are certainly maybe having a working christmas. senate democrats and republicans, but i think it's interesting just to kind of recap what's going on here. before president obama and house speaker john boehner were working on a much bigger package obviously, not just to avoid the fiscal cliff but to try and tackle the long-term fiscal health of the country, trying to overall it was expected to raise some taxes, try to deal with entitlement reform and tax reform, those other big things like entitlement reform and tax reform get kicked into the new year, dana, so it's the gift that keeps on giving on this cli clifftmas. >> taking this pretty far. one of the key questions is whether or not senate democratic leader harry reid will be able to get enough republicans in t
to meet with house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell. that is happening this afternoon. jessica yellin is there. jess, what do we know about the president's plan to get everybody in the same room? do we think there's going to be something that comes out of this? >> reporter: well, this is one of those cases where we really are going to have to wait and see, and all the parties involved are also going in with a big question mark. the idea is the expectation by many of the participants in the meeting is that they hope that they will be able to discuss more details about a scaled-down fiscal cliff plan. and maybe that could lead to some sort of agreement ideally for all parties in which all the senators say that they will not filibuster it, and it can go to a vote. and then speaker boehner could, in theory, agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor after the house comes back on sunday. and then we would get all of this behind us before new year's eve. how likely does that sound? not so likely. >> yo
. the white house is talking about senate democrats about what senate majority leader harry reid will have to cobble together when the senate reconvenes on the 27th and that's really the last-ditch effort. it's seen as the senate trying to do something that can also pass the house, so this is exactly what you would expect. the real problem though is as of this morning, just a week out from when the fiscal cliff is expected to hit. there's no discussions between congressional democrats and congressional republicans even on the staff level. this is what democratic and republican sources are telling me, and overall just to remind people, instead of this being -- here's what we expect. instead of this being some big bill to try to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country which is what the fiscal cliff was supposed to be an incentive to do, we're expecting now that this is just some measure to avert the fiscal cliff which is the tax hikes, the spending cuts, each if they deal with the spending cuts and we're waiting to see what the measure will look like. i know what a hard-hitting
harry reid says he's readying a bill for a vote by monday. all this follows a rare face-to-face closed door meeting at the white house today between all the key players, the president, the vice president, the treasury secretary and all four congressional leaders huddled together with just four days to go before we all go overs fiscal cliff. that meeting lasted for an hour and five minutes. on a story where every second and every maneuver counts, let's get chief to white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, the president says he's modestly optimist being but each also presented a backup plan. does the president really think it will come to that? >> at this point, no, they don't, john, because the white house is hopeful that the agreement that the senators are working on can actually move forward after the meeting here. there is a modest uptick in enthusiasm about that possibility. but as forts backup plan, there's no real likelihood that would ever come to a vote because republicans would likely block it in both the senate and might -- it would likely not come to a vote in the h
. take a look at mitch mcconnell and harry reid just this afternoon. >> you'll excuse me if i'm a little frustrated at the situation. >> republican leader finds himself frustrated. >> i say i'm frustrated because we have been asking the president and the democrats to work with us. >> he complains i have not delivered the votes to pass the solution to the fiscal cliff. he's in error. >> i told the president i would be happy to look at whatever he opposes. >> he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. >> as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. >> we have nobody to work with, compromise. >> republicans aren't about to write a blank check. >> we can't negotiate with ourselves. that's all we're doing. >> we don't have many days left. >> we're in the same situation we have been in for a long time. >> as you can see, senate is back in session today. the house plans to be back on sunday. more now on the breaking news. senior congressional correspondent dana bash joins us now from capitol hill. jessica yellen on the north lawn tonight. dana, i'll start with you. you
. senate majority leader harry reid says we're all headed for fiscal disaster. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left before the first of the year, aren't here. >> we're now told the house will finally return to work on sunday. now, that's december 30th. in other words, less than 48 hours before we go over the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, president obama cut his hawaii vacation short to return to washington today. but has he been working on a deal? "outfront" tonight, reports from both ends of pennsylvania avenue. chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, and senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. jessica, first, to you, the president's back in washington, wheels down. he left his christmas vacation early. but was this just a bit of showmanship, or has he been working on something specific? >> reporter: hey, john. well, today has been a bit of a quiet day here at the white house. publicly, the president has been scarce, no sign of him. behind closed doors, i'm told a
-time friend, senator harry reid. >> to everything, there is a season, a time to every purpose under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die. you see, this was danienian inouye's time. he led a full and productive life. he was 88 years old and he lived each of those 88 years to its fullest. >> inouye's accomplishments are legendary. at his death, he was the senate's longest serving member, second only to robert byrd of west virginia. >>> back here in the u.s., the president is spending the christmas holiday with his family in hawaii. cnn's brianna keilar is there. there is no official word when he is coming back to the mainland but as that fiscal cliff deadline gets closer what do you think will happen as it rolls on? >> reporter: no official word the president will return to washington, i think that is the expectation. as you know, miguel, the senate will convene on december 27th, that's thursday. and in a perfect world, what the white house would want to see is the senate take up some sort of measure to avert the tax hikes that will hit people earning $250,000 or less. that's what the
house with democrat harry reid. however, publicly what is being said sounds a whole lot like it has over the past couple of weeks, which tells us, randi, we're not exactly sure if we're going to get something worked out in the next few days. >> yeah, that's the question, of course. are we any closer? and i guess we don't really know. what about for workers? will they see any extra taxes coming out of their paychecks right on january 1st if there isn't a deal? >> you know, imagine being a payroll check processor at this point. they do not know what to do. if they are going to issue checks to people on the first week of the new year, a lot of people are expecting them to come, they have to cut those checks next week. and as of now, the irs hasn't told these companies how much they should be withholding taxes because they don't know because of this impasse in washington. so a lot of uncertainty about when this would start to be applied. would it be retroactively. don't know what your first paychecks could look like as a result of what's going on here. if no deal is reached, if the payroll t
# senator daniel inouye who represented hawaii died last week of respiratory complications. harry reid has called on hawaii's governor neil abercrombie to appoint a successor before the end of the year. >>> ted kennedy jr., son of the late edward kennedy is considering a run for john kerry's senate seat according to his brother, former congressman patrick kennedy. the "boston globe" reports that ted reached out to family members, friends and prominent democrats including john kerry about the possible run. he would most likely face off against former senator scott brown who lost his seat to elizabeth warren in the november elections. >>> thank you so much for watching today. i'm candy crowley in washington. head to cnn.com/so it tu for analysis and extras if you missed any part of today's show, find us on itunes, search state of the union. from all of us we want to wish you a merry christmas. "fareed zakaria gps" is next for our viewers in the united states. >>> this is "gps" the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakar
connell or boehner. without adding in to this mix, senator harry reid who is running the senate and have failed to act on anything yet. >> will you support whatever short-term deal the republican leadership supports? >> i don't know what i'm going to support yet until i see it. the previous congressman you had on, raul, interesting enough, his office is right next to mine in longworth. the fact of the matter is we're going to have to find a place to come together. that the president has offered a 7% solution for a 100% problem. i was struck by the fact that not a single democrat supported speaker boehner's plan "b" when that was actually nancy pelosi's solution which was to raise taxes on those earning a million dollars or more. not one democrat agreed to vote for it. >> let's talk about that plan "b." it was not successful. hastert had some unkind words saying i don't want to be critical of john, but you don't ever bring something to the floor if you don't have the votes. so congressman, did the speaker miscalculate and do you think he'll be challenged for the speakership when the new congress
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